MSNBC Recycles Their Garbage: ‘Madman’ Trump Calling For Violence?

On Monday's Morning Joe, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski made a remarkable comeback performance after being away both Thursday and Friday of last week. Somehow, in her obsessive ranting centered around Trump’s retweet of a random Twitter user’s joke and another tweet that called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” Brzezinski managed to fit in enough nonsense to fill at least three days of normal MSNBC content. 

Just as with the media’s outrage over Trump’s tweet of a WWE wrestling meme showing him “beating up” CNN, Morning Joe began by overreacting to the retweet by mischaracterizing it as some kind of incitement to violence:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: It's a bad joke. When you have the president of the United States in that position talking about knocking over a woman, his former opponent. 

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Jeez, no, it’s bad on so many levels, I couldn't think on one way in which anybody would be overreaching or getting over their skis by saying that this is just abonable [sic], rude behavior that is beyond unpresidential. [...] You wrote in August of 2016, after then candidate Trump “suggested that one way to keep a conservative Supreme Court after Hillary Clinton got elected would be to assassinate her or federal judges” and Joe wrote in The Washington Post: “Trump and his supporters have been scrambling wildly all day to explain away the inexplicable, but they can stop wasting their time. The GOP nominee was clearly suggesting that some of the ‘Second Amendment people’ among his supporters could kill his Democratic opponent when she [sic], were she to be elected.”

The article that Mika read from was written by Joe at a time when the media’s propaganda campaign against Donald Trump was in full swing, and the truth value of its assertions was as dubious then as it is now. Even at the time, Politifact had a correspondent look at Trump’s statement about Hillary Clinton, the Supreme Court, and “Second Amendment people” in context and he meekly concluded that: “Trump’s rather elliptical words certainly left room for interpretation.” Of course, Trump did not say anything about assassinating or killing anybody, leaving this interpretation of Trump’s words in serious doubt, but this didn’t stop Mika and Joe from recycling their disingenuous interpretation of Trump’s comments as some sort of obvious truth about what he meant.

Brzezinski and regular MSNBC guest Donny Deutsch were not finished though, as, of course, they needed an explanation for Trump’s behavior. Unsurprisingly, they settled on mental illness:

DEUTSCH: And to have the cognitive disability to tweet him doing, hitting Hillary on the head with a golf ball, I mean, you know, you never let me diagnose, and I understand, on this show, but he's not a well guy. I mean, there's no other, you do the dance and, it is, there is the presidential Tourette’s of, that, we, nothing shocks us anymore.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, David Ignatius-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] Well we should be shocked. This is wrong. 

Just to be completely clear, Mika wasn’t saying that calling people mentally ill is wrong. She’s saying that tweeting a joke meme is wrong.

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About an hour later, after kvetching about Trump’s tweets off-and-on for about an hour, Brzezinski brought the discussion back towards calling Trump mentally ill and dangerous:

No I’m, I’m actually gonna go on [sic] a limb and say that we have become desensitized to these tweets and that they are dangerous. And that if General Kelly wants to, like, work on saving this country from the frailties of this President's ability to process information and handle it like an adult and not lead us either marching into war or cause some sort of unrest, he needs to take his phone away from him.

In a brief moment of sanity, Deutsch suggested a more reasonable response to Trump’s tweets before backtracking and equivocating between Trump and Kim Jong Un:

Mika, it’s interesting you were desensitized. My reaction when I saw it was, for, I, I, I’m ashamed to say this because it's disgusting, I kind of giggled for a second. I said: ‘Oh, that's silly.’ [...] But that may be some good news to that. Take aside your, the madman with your hand on the button over in North Korea, but to most logical thinking people, [Trump and Kim] are dismissed at this point, they are just completely dismissed.

Mika couldn’t help herself but try to one-up Donny. She responded that her real concern was not the Communist dictator flouting international law by developing nuclear weapons and threatening to use them on multiple countries, but our own president using Twitter: “It's not the madman with his hand on the button, it’s his, it’s the madman with his finger on his Blackberry.” 

Since Mika Brzezinski thinks that Kim Jong Un is less of a threat than Trump, perhaps she would enjoy a quick trip to North Korea so that the Dear Leader Himself can hear some of her mild criticisms of Him? Maybe some crowdfunding is in order? It would certainly make for some exciting TV.

The following is an extended transcript of the segments discussed above:

6:04 AM EST

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika, Mika, so here you have, again, this is a guy who, again, should put the campaign behind him. He just can’t do it. And, I don't know, I jus-, I know it's considered to be a joke. It's a bad joke. When you have the president of the United States in that position talking about knocking over a woman, his former opponent.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Jeez, no, it’s bad on so many levels, I couldn't think on one way in which anybody would be overreaching or getting over their skis by saying that this is just abonable [sic], rude behavior that is beyond unpresidential. And I was actually book-writing all weekend for the re-release of Know[ing] Your Value, going through old Trump interviews as well as columns that you wrote. You wrote in August of 2016, after then candidate Trump “suggested that one way to keep a conservative Supreme Court after Hillary Clinton got elected would be to assassinate her or federal judges” and Joe wrote in The Washington Post: “Trump and his supporters have been scrambling wildly all day to explain away the inexplicable, but they can stop wasting their time. The GOP nominee was clearly suggesting that some of the ‘Second Amendment people’ among his supporters could kill his Democratic opponent when she [sic], were she to be elected. [...] A bloody line has been crossed that cannot be ignored. At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens.” So, this is what you were saying then. I know people feel otherwise.

SCARBOROUGH: No, no, that was, that was, Donny, that was following right after the RNC, when he had just become-

BRZEZINSKI: I don't know how much more you can warn the Republican Party.

SCARBOROUGH: Well we’ve actually been warning them since December 2015 and they’re all in The New York-, The Washington Post columns. But Donny, you’ve got the Republican Party this past week acting shocked: ‘Oh Donald Trump is talking to Democrats. Donald Trump’s a, dadadada. Right? How could we have ever seen this coming?’ The fact is there was warning after warning after warning after warning and then of course some people yesterday going: ‘Oh, I can't believe he did-.’ No. This was, this was all clear.

BRZEZINSKI: Don't be surprised at anything.

SCARBOROUGH: And, and I, I'm sorry. I've got to say it. When Paul Ryan and other Republicans quietly sat back, let this guy get the nomination, and then fine, even we warned Paul Ryan the day that he, he endorsed Donald Trump-

BREZINSKI: [interrupting] And he couldn't find the words.

SCARBOROUGH: -the day he endorsed Donald Trump, we said: ‘You’ve just made a terrible mistake. You should have demanded discipline, or not given him your support. And they never did. And so they can't be surprised right now with what they’ve gotten.

DONNY DEUTSCH: Like Jeff Sessions, I feel like an idiot, because I came here Friday and said: ‘Wow, maybe there was some metamorphosis that happened.’

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] Don’t, don’t ever say that.

DEUTSCH: And he’s being clever and he’s with the Democrats and I did all the math and in reality you watch this weekend, there’s no there there there [sic] for anything.  It is, it's the mood. Whatev-, you could see his twee-, he, at the same time he's talking about “Rocket Man,” giving a glib name-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] Well we’re going to get to that. That’s a huge story.
 
DEUTSCH: -to this madman who’s running North Korea. And to have the cognitive disability to tweet him doing, hitting Hillary on the head with a golf ball, I mean, you know, you never let me diagnose, and I understand, on this show, but he's not a well guy. I mean, there's no other, you do the dance and, it is, there is the presidential Tourette’s of, that, we, nothing shocks us anymore.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, David Ignatius-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] Well we should be shocked. This is wrong.  

(...)  

7:01 AM

BRZEZINSKI: No I’m, I’m actually gonna go on a limb and say that we have become desensitized to these tweets and that they are dangerous. And that if General Kelly wants to, like, work on saving this country from the frailties of this President's ability to process information and handle it like an adult and not lead us either marching into war or cause some sort of unrest, he needs to take his phone away from him. And if he does not hand over his phone, he needs to quit.

DEUTSCH: Mika, it’s interesting you were desensitized. My reaction when I saw it was, for, I, I, I’m ashamed to say this because it's disgusting, I kind of giggled for a second. I said: ‘Oh, that's silly.’ It, it became so irrel-, I’m thinking of it a year ago if I saw that or two years ago. And we have become desensitized. But that may be some good news to that. Take aside your, the madman with your hand on the button over in North Korea, but to most logical thinking people, they are dismissed at this point, they are just completely dismissed.

BRZEZINSKI: It's not the madman with his hand on the button, it’s his, it’s the madman with his finger on his Blackberry or whatever iPhone that could tweet-

DEUTSCH: [interrupting] I’m talking about the other guy who [inaudible].  But I actually, I’m curious everybody [sic] around the table, I wasn’t even outraged when I saw it. It was just-

RICK TYLER [MSNBC, COMMENTATOR]: I think people have become desensitized to it. But I also think-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] That’s the problem.

TYLER: -but it has, it has an impact. When [sic] you saw that with McMaster and his interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] He’s embarrassed.

TYLER: -where, where McMaster was supposed to have a very serious tone and a very serious, clear message about what our policy is with the [sic] North Korea, which I still don’t really know what it is.  

[crosstalk]

TYLER: And he had to respond to this idea, the tweet coming from the President.  

MARK HALPERIN: If a junior member of the House of Representatives retweeted that video, they’d be forced to apologize.

SCARBOROUGH: Of course they would. Again, again, this president has been held to a lower standard than any members of Congress, any CEOs, any anything. It just, yeah, it would not, it would not be acceptable under any terms.

(...)

 

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